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On this edition of NextCast, Jeff sits down with Adam Schoenfeld of Simply Measured to talk about making data accessible and how every startup just needs three little letters – GFA.
Adam Schoenfeld of Simply Measured talks about how he went from childhood dreams of NBA stardom to building a company centered on helping brands understand their social media data. He offers up his advice on how to create a winning startup and what key players you need on your team. He and Jeff talk gadgets, mentors, and staying connected to the world outside tech. All that, plus Adam shares lessons picked up from an old copy of his great-grandfather’s guide to business success.
- Adam has always had a passion for doing something from zero and seeing what he could build. That’s how he ended up joining the team that would eventually create Simply Measured. After a previous business venture that didn’t work out, Adam took his business savvy and used it to get Simply Measured going with his partners.
- “You can map startup success to three key positions,” says Adam. You need: a great technologist or hacker, someone that can build it quickly and make it stand; a great product mind who understands user experience; and the do-it-all Swiss Army knife business guy who can sell and market and handle money issues.
- GFA = get fucking aggressive. For startup success, you’ve got to GFA. Adam learned to balance hard work and passion for an idea with a realistic understanding of markets and customer needs. It’s not enough to believe in the business yourself, you’ve got to know how to assess market opportunities and find a pain point big enough for customer to want to pay you.
- Balance is the name of the game for Adam. Startups need to “balance that entrepreneurial passion with an objective, grounded in reality and the market”. Communication with mentors and advisors from all areas of expertise is his strategy for getting the best information. Listening is essential – hearing customers tell you what they need and hearing advisors tell you how to move forward with it – is key for success.
- Even though Adam thinks we could all do with a little less paper in our business lives, he does relate to the principles laid down in a 100-year-old book written by his great-grandfather that he found. “It made me think about how I communicate with employees, customers, investors,” he says, and he can link a lot of his grandfather’s views to modern business.
“I’m an entrepreneur always looking to surrounding myself with smart people, work on ideas that make customers happy, and learn how much I don’t know. I like thinking strategically, but love problem solving and getting shit done.
Currently passionate about solving business problems in the world of social media, but generally excited about cool technology and anything shiny.”
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